Stem Cell Bone Marrow Transport to Combat HIV

Eleven years ago, there was a man who made medical history in London, England. It was breaking news surrounding a stem cell transplant that cured the man of the deadly HIV virus.

The man's name was Timothy Ray Brown, and he's the second person known to have won the fight against HIV.

His story gained world-wide attention, and he even managed to coin a nickname for himself dubbed The Berlin Patient.

Keep in mind that this was deemed as an impossible accomplishment in world medical history. 

This was at a time where the search for a HIV cure was starting to take hold. 

So, mentioning something as such to a highly respected scientist hearing that there's a cure for the disease would likely be met with harsh criticism.

Keep in mind that this was deemed as an impossible accomplishment in world medical history.  

However, stated just a few paragraphs above in this post, Brown was the second person to be cured of HIV.

Keep in mind that these are reports that claim he's the first to be cured is arguable, and there are others who have been cured also.

So, if he was the second patient cured then what procedure was used to get rid of the infectious virus? 

Well, there was an experimental method that was known at the time however, it was still classified as "experimental" and not yet proven as the go to method of killing off the virus.

The method involved stem cell transfer into bone marrow therapy, which kills off cancer cells within the body. 

Ironically, that wasn't the only thing that was killed off. 

After further analytical study of the patient's progress, they were also cured of the deadly HIV virus.

The Fusion of Stem Cells and Marrow Bone Method

Brown was already suffering from the ill-effects of leukemia

So, steps were taken to combat the disease through use of stem cell therapy during a bone marrow transplant procedure. 

He was lucky, because he was to undergo the stem cell transplant procedure from a donor who didn't possess the CCR5 gene

This particular gene guarantees that the HIV virus will be compromised, and it will eventually be expelled from within the body. 

The same procedure is currently used effectively on the patient in London.

The other part of the equation involves the blood and stem cells from an umbilical cord.

So, grouping together the necessities needed for this procedure is stated in the bulletin list below:

  • Peripheral Blood - Transference of peripheral blood stem cells, and from bone marrow (bone marrow transplant). In a cord blood transplant, stem cells are collected from umbilical cord blood.

Hard work done by researchers and scientists is starting to pay off.

The fact that this game-changing procedure will not only deter the spread of cancer; but now we’re looking at a possible way to rid the world of HIV.

The only downside to this is the time it takes to apply the procedure on multiple individuals who are in desperate need of it.

The Stem Cell Donor Issue

Patients are waiting for their chance to undergo this procedure; they are currently booked on a long waiting list.

The reason for this is because the procedure will require donors who do not possess the CCR5 gene.

Roughly 1% of individuals will not have the CCR5 gene. 

The search for potential candidates is vastly low. 

This doesn't include any of the difficulties that are involved when conducting treatment procedures on patients.

Overall Outlook of the HIV Stem Cell Treatment

Despite the difficulties of conducting this life saving method, medical experts are seeing positive results from the stem cell and bone marrow transplant procedure.

Improvements in ways of administering and applying the therapy treatment are thoroughly researched. 

So, it’s safe to say that medical experts are not leaving anything to chance when making improvements at the benefit of their patients. 

After all, this is the find of the century in terms of medical breakthroughs; ESPECIALLY when it comes down to finding a cure for the HIV virus! 

The bigger picture will be the things researchers can learn from their findings, and sooner or later with constant persistence and determination on their behalf will lead us to an ultimate HIV cure!

Lastly, will be the costs to undergo the procedure, I mean you had to know that is going to play a factor in this as well.

I checked out a ballpark figure amount for a typical Stem Cell Transplant procedure, could run up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars (it runs somewhere between $350,000 - $800,000).

That determination of price comes down to the Medical Facility and the location where the patient will have the procedure done. 

The other cast aspect that will determine the cost will depend on the patient.  

So, if marrow or stem cells come from them, it will mean it’s an Autologous procedure that’s conducted. 

If samples coming from a donor is considered to be an Allogeneic procedure, which is where stem cell samples are harvested from a donor.

The bright side to it all is that there is now a way for individuals living with HIV to rid themselves of the disease forever.

And for some, that means hope of finally reddening themselves of an internal silent killer once and for all!

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